The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently announced it is adopting new ICAO based formatting for domestic flight plans possibly starting in January 2017.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a UN specialized agency, established by States in 1944 to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention). – ICAO
These changes will require pilots to provide more information when filing their flight plans. While there are many similar aspects of the old FAA domestic flight plan and the new ICAO formatted one there are enough important changes that pilots need to learn the new format.
The ICAO format requires a wake turbulence category based on the aircraft. ICAO also has more specific coding for transponder equipment, which specifies ADS-B Out and In, for example, and avionics installations, which includes several additional codes for avionics capabilities such as LPV approaches. The more detailed codes can be included to provide more information for ATC, but they are not required. The ICAO format also includes codes for emergency equipment, which will be helpful in search and rescue situations. – Flying Magazine